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Illegal Immigrant in India Latest Report, Acts and Issues

Illegal Immigrant in India: According to the general rules of the Citizenship Act as amended in 2003, a foreigner who entered India either without valid documents or who initially possessed a valid document but overstayed the allowed time is considered an Illegal Immigrant in India.

Why Illegal immigrant Issue in the news?

For the refugees, the Mizoram government set up relief camps. It is further stated in this context that a campaign to collect biometric information from unauthorized immigrants in the States of Manipur and Mizoram must be finished by the end of September 2023.

Illegal Immigrant In India Legal Framework

The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920:

  • The act gave the government the authority to enact regulations mandating that everyone entering India must have a passport.
  • Additionally, it gave the government authority to expel anyone who entered India without a passport.

Illegal Immigrant – Foreigners Act, 1946:

  • It took the place of the Foreigners Act of 1940, which granted broad authority to deal with all foreigners.
  • The law gave the government the authority to employ any means, including force, to prevent illegal immigration.
  • In all States and Union Territories, the idea that the “burden of proof” rests with the individual rather than the authorities conferred by this act is still in force. The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench has upheld this idea.
  • The act gave the government the authority to create tribunals with power equal to that of a civil court.
  • The Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 has recently been amended (2019), enabling district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to establish tribunals to determine whether a person residing in India unlawfully is a foreigner or not.

Illegal Immigrant – The Citizenship Act, 1955:

  • It outlines the procedures for obtaining and determining Indian citizenship.
  • Additionally, the Constitution has granted citizenship rights to Persons of Indian Origin, Non-Resident Indians, and Overseas Citizens of India.

Steps were taken by the Government for Illegal Immigrants of India:

  • The Land Acquisition Acts: By establishing tribal belts and blocks through land revenue acts, the government set aside lands for the tribal people. However, this move did little to solve the issue of land alienation among the tribes because the grounds designated for them were located in isolated, arid regions.
  • NRC in Assam: The Assam government created a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 1951 that listed details on each person, including their nationality, sex, age, and means of support.
  • The NRC was designed to assist in identifying and verifying actual Indian nationals as well as repatriating foreigners. The updated NRC has now been made available by the Assam government.
  • Operation PushBack demanded that illegal immigrants in India be forcibly deported. The main goal of “Operation Push Back” was to prevent any potential Bangladeshi immigrant from entering India illegally to settle there.

Challenges Faced by Illegal Immigrants in India

  • Threat to National Security: It has been determined that the Rohingyas’ ongoing illegal immigration into India and their continuous presence there have major implications for national security and represent serious security threats.
  • Conflict of Interests: In locations where there are significant influxes of illegal immigrants, it affects the interests of the local citizens.
  • Political Instability: It also worsens political instability when politicians begin to incite national sentiment against immigrants in an effort to seize political power.
  • Rise of Militancy: Radicalization has taken the place of the ongoing attacks against Muslims who are thought to be illegal immigrants.
  • Human Trafficking: In recent years, cross-border people smuggling and trafficking in women have grown significantly.
  • Law and Order Issues: Illegal immigrants who participate in illegal and anti-national activities are undermining the country’s integrity and rule of law.

Measures Needed for Migrants 

  • Diplomatic Effort: India must use diplomacy to persuade Bangladesh to collaborate in order to address the issue of illegal migration. It will be simpler if people’s digital databases are shared.
  • Better border management: It will be done through border fencing, border road construction, and border management that is done correctly. Engaging in proactive patrolling of international boundaries between India and Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • The collection of data: Under the Unique Identification Number (UID) scheme is likely to make recent illegal immigrants feel less at ease.
  • No bar to Voting rights: Bangladeshis currently residing in the country may be permitted to work, but they shouldn’t be allowed to vote because doing so will reduce their impact as a political force.
  • Utilization of regional forums: Groups like BIMSTEC can be utilized to debate topics like unlawful migration from surrounding countries and to encourage cooperation and support from the members.
  • Resolution of the conflict: The government should settle any outstanding border issues with the bordering nations before they develop into threats to national security.
  • The border-guarding forces: They should not be diverted from their main job and assigned to other internal security responsibilities. For instance, it is not advisable to utilize the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), a unit trained exclusively for the India-China border, in Naxalite-infested areas.
  • Army involvement: It is believed that the Indian Army should be in charge of all unresolved and disputed borders, such as the LoC in J&K and the LAC on the Indo-Tibetan border, while the BSF should be in charge of all settled borders.

Illegal Immigrant – Conclusion 

  • India has been one of the world’s top hosts of refugees despite not being a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol.
  • However, if India had internal refugee legislation, it might have discouraged any oppressive governments in the area from persecuting their citizens and forcing them to migrate to India.
  • It would still be preferable if India took the lead in encouraging other SAARC members to sign a convention or declaration on refugees that would call for ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol as well as the recording of member states’ reservations to specific provisions.

Illegal Immigrant for UPSC

The relevance of Illegal Immigrant studies is for UPSC Mains Paper: GS-Paper I- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

Illegal Immigrant Practice Question

Q1. “Since India’s independence, illegal immigration has persisted unabated.” Comment. (250 words)

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What is an illegal immigrant in India?

An illegal immigrant in India is a foreigner who entered India either without valid documents or who initially possessed a valid document but overstayed the allowed time.

What are the legal frameworks governing illegal immigration in India?

The three main legal frameworks governing illegal immigration in India are the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, the Foreigners Act, 1946, and the Citizenship Act, 1955.

What steps has the government taken so far to address the issue of illegal immigration?

The government has taken a number of steps to address the issue of illegal immigration, including the creation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the implementation of Operation Push Back, and the strengthening of border security.

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